When watching anime I heard this word come across (Tsuki ga kirei, ep4, somewhere at the end) and I was wondering if it is a combination of nani and ka or just another word. If it is a combination then why would it be used like that? with both nani and ka, which both imply a question. Alternatively, I know a word exists, which is nanika (I believe it ment: 'something'). Could it be just this word, but then the i removed. If that is the case why would it be removed? Anyway, it would be appreciated if anyone could shed some more light on this whole thing.

1 Answer 1


なんか is an informal version of 何か (なにか). So you are correct in your assumption that it is a combination of なに and か.

Interrogative words like なに (what), どこ (where), どれ (which), etc, are known as 'indeterminate pronouns' (see a related answer here), and when combined with the particle か, indicate that the object is unidentified. It generally corresponds to 'some ~' in English. Here are some more examples of か being added to indeterminate pronouns:

なにか something
だれか somebody
どこか somewhere
どちらか one of the two
いつか some day
いくつか a few
いくらか some amount

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